tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC April 19, 2011 1:00pm-2:00pm EDT
serious damage to our economy. >> why is the white house downplaying a tough warning from wall street? will a lower credit rating light a fire under budget negotiators? fresh from his interview with tim geithner today, we have cnbc's steve liesman and the political fallout with mark halperin. and one year late erk the struggle to re pair the gulf. with us, congressman ed markey, is offshore drilling any safer. and the mouth that roars, trump unplugged. but is he a contender? the big interview with savannah guthrie. was he too good to be true. more questions today about s to. president obama trying to build support for his budget plan in the first of three town hall meetings scheduled for this week. but it was treasury secretary tim geithner who today tried to reassure americans that the u.s. would not be defaulting on its
debt. >> congress is going to pass an increase in the debt ceiling. they recognize that. they know they have to do that. they have always done that. that's not the issue. the real challenge is to make sure we put in place multiyear targets that put the deficit on a path that declines over time so that the debt burden starts to decline. that's the economic imperative. that's the important thing to do. >> we're joined by cnbc's steve liesman to help us make sense of the debt crisis. and the way the president and the white house are responding to the s&p warnings. first, to your interview with tim geithner. how do you read what he said about triggers and about downward glide path for the deficit? >> well, in the first instance, andrea, in the near term i hear him being a little bit more aminable to packing a little bit more into the debt ceiling agreement than perhaps he was before the weekend began. he talked about there being a reduction, automatic mechanisms that could be part of the debt ceiling ingredient.
he's saying, look, we have to pass this. let's not burden it with too much, but he's open to more than i thought going into this interview. that's in the first instance. longer term, he's essentially rejecting the political judgment made by the s&p. and i think it is fair to say to s&p, you know what, they have to make a political judgment which has a financial part to it, which is will they be able to come to this agreement. if they're not, then they're going to default. and s&p is saying it is less likely than we thought. and i'm hearing different analysis on that. it is a political judgment with huge financial implications. >> steve, what could be reversey
a future congress. and that that is the long-te long-term -- >> a lot of people missed that idea. that in fact the s&p affirmed the neither outlook as stable, which is saying you know what, we think they're going to come to an agreement on the debt ceiling. we don't see the default of that of one in the next several months. if they did, they would have made that neither outlook negative. it is the one 2012 and 2013 as the one where there is not going to be an agreement. that's really what they're saying. i tend to disagree a little bit, andrea. when i hear the republicans with a ten-year plan, and the democrats with a 12-year plan, i hear both sides talking about this number of $4 trillion, i
think ultimately and what is interesting is the shot across the bow that came from wall street yesterday, i think there is no illusion anymore in washington what this means to not make an agreement. i'm more optimistic they do come to an agreement. >> let me ask you about gas prices. there is a new washington post poll which shows people are really feeling it. you've got 70%, 71% saying that it is causing a financial hardship. so is a real factor for the way people are making economic decisions. >> absolutely. and it is something that we began picking up, andrea, in our polling at cnbc and other commentary out there that began around $3.50 a gallon. i see you're showing theç vide of $4 and $4.50. there say point, i think around $3.75, where actual behavior starts to change. people start limiting the amount they go out at night and start
changing the amount they drive at $4 and our auto reporter phil lebeau says this is around the level, $4 and higher, where people start changing the cars they choose to buy. >> that has a big impact as we know. thank you. steve liesman, great to have you. thank you for joining us. a day after standa standard & poor's downgraded the outlook, the president was trying to win support for his budget plan in that town hall meeting. >> so the debate isn't about whether we reduce our deficit. the debate is about how we reduce our deficit. my view is we need to live within our means while still investing in our future. cutting where we can, while investing in education, investing in innovation, investing in infrastructure, and strengthening the safety net provided by programs like medicare so that they're there for this generation and for next generations. >> mark halperin is msnbc's senior political analyst and
"time" magazine editor at large and joins us now. mark, i was struck, i was watching you on morning joe and i was struck by your take on the s&p issue and the way the white house was responding. and my sense was why not embrace this and say, look, you see how bad things can get, look at the 140 point decline on wall street yesterday, just in response to that, we have got to get serious, use that to light a fire against -- light a fire with the budget negotiator and make congress take notice. but you had a completely different interpretation. >> i don't -- standard & poor's doesn't ask me for help in figuring out the thai bond market and i don't look to them for political analysis. they're guessing but they have no particular insider expertise and less than a lot of people you and i both know about what is actually going to happen. there are a lot of reasons to think there could stillç be a deal. i can tick them off quickly. but the question of what the white house should do in reaction to this, they have to be the adults in this. john boehner said they need to be adults in dealing with the
debt ceiling. overall, in terms of the credit of the united states, and the big mac row ratings and other factors that could hurt the economy, i think the white house cannot be alarmist. they don't need the leverage of this report to get something done. there are other thing they can do. they don't need the leverage to say the sky is falling and therefore we have to act. i think that would be counterproductive in the short-term, could hurt the economy and in the long term, i don't think republicans are going to react favorably to that. >> i'm glad you're being more grown-up than i am. it is nice to see that behavior from you, mark. but also more seriously about the economy and the way the president is trying to sell it today, the first of these town hall meetings, are people listening? is he going to be able to get his message out that way? >> i think it is very difficult. he's doing it still in a partisan way. he has real partisan differences with republicans about how to get this done. but i, again, this is more of an inside game now. clearly public opinion on most of the major issues is on the side of the president, depending how you ask the question.
in general, whether the rich should be taxed, the balance between tax increases on the wealthy and corporations and taking away tax breaks from corporations generation spending cuts on entitlements, the president i think has public opinion. it is the inside game in this case that matters more. the gang of six negotiators in the senate, the level of trust the president can build with mitch mcconnell and john boehner, how to sequence different parts of this and whether a big deal can come together in time for the debt ceiling, how recalcitrant house republicans will be. that's an inside game impervious at this point to public opinion. whether people are listening to the president or not, don't think much matters if the question is will there be a grand barringen this yegain thi before the 2012 election? >> in the new poll, 57% disapprove the way the president is handling the economy. only 42% approve. if it is anzeju)qq game, mark, have they, during these initial rounds, at least over the continuing resolution, have they have developed a relationship?
one of the striking things about the first couple of years of this administration and the hill is that they were talking past each other. mitch mcconnell said he met one on one with president obama in the first 18 months. have they begun to develop the kind of connections, the personal connects that is going to make it possible. >> not enough. there was some progress made in the lame duck session on the tax deal, some progress around the cr. the house republicans said to steny hoyer and the democrats, we don't have the votes, we can't get this passed with just republican votes and they came up with a lot of votes. immigration, education, job creation, trade, it is going to require votes on both sides. there is more trust than before. i think particularly between house democrat like steny hoyer and the republican leadership, and some more trust with the white house and respect, but not enough for there to be a big bargain. i think the president can't understate that. he needs to figure out a way to
have the kind of personal ties for their -- that are going to be required. progress but not enough yet. >> and finally on immigration, the president, this meeting today, you've got mike bloomberg, arnold schwarzenegger, people from both parties, chief ramsey from the former police chief here now from philadelphia, all talking about immigration. i talked to luis gutierrez about this yesterday and there was a warning at least from the hispanic caucus. let's watch. >> you said over the weekend that you were actually considering not supporting the president's re-election effort if he does not re-engage on immigration policy. that's really serious, fighting words. do you mean it? >> when i look at a ghun ty of people that is undecided, i want to bring them to the decision table in favor of the president. but the president has to act to complete his promise. i don't think it is unusual. and what i said was, you know what, i'm undecided. >> undecided about the re-elect? >> there isç strong pressure. >> is the white house going to
notice that? >> there is strong pressure from the left and the president has a campaign promise to fulfill and he needs a lot of support from hispanic voters to get re-elected. he's got a coalition. the group that you cited, big mayors, former governor schwarzenegger, a lot of member of the business community, but the president is missing in order to try to do this is partners from the republican party, in congress, and maybe elsewhere with the courage to stand up to the elements of their party who don't want to see the kind of comprehensive reform that involves a path to citizenship for people here illegally, at least some of them. the president says that all the time. he needs republican partners. i can't tell you who those would be. in a presidential year, leading up to a presidential year, it will be even tougher to get that done. he's got to try because he promised he would but it will be tough unless some republicans show the kind of courage that john mccain showed, george bush showed for a time in standing up to the elements of the party that don't want a deal like this. >> maybe we could again get the new old, new old john mccain back and see what could happen there. >> that would be one way to do it. but i wouldn't hold your breath.
>> i'm not. thanks, mark. good to see you. and still ahead, controversy, disturbing questions about a best-selling story. and next, congressman ed markey, a year after the gulf disaster what have we learned. >> every week i've scaled back. there is a few crews. here we are a year later and still no sense of urgency. all we asked from day one was to do the right thing. we created the electricity that powered the alarm clocks and brewed the coffee. we heated the bathwater and gave kelly a cleaner ride to school. cooked the cube steaks and steamed the veggies. entertained dad, and mom, and a neighbor or two. kept watch on the house when they slept. and tomorrow we could do even more. we're cleaner, domestic, abundant and ready now. we're america's natural gas. the smarter power today. learn more at anga.us. how are you getting to a happier place? running there? dancing there? how about eating soup to get there?
campbell's soups fill you with good nutrition, farm-grown ingredients, and can help you keep a healthy weight. campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do. to london starts with arthritis pain... and a choice. take tylenol now, and maybe up to 8 in a day. or...choose aleve and 2 pills for a day free of pain. enjoy the flight.
the coast guard and the oil companies are trying to prevent an environmental tragedy. today, a sheen of oil, up to 100 square miles, floats over the gulf. while officials say they don't see any crude spilling from the underwater well head, they are taking no chances. the weather is going to play a huge role in containing this
spill. as you can see, the high winds and rough seas, they can push the oil towards the shoreline and that can threaten the many wildlife that call the gulf of mexico home. >> that was only the beginning. three days after the historic oil spill, anne thompson was reporting on a disaster that only got worse and worse and worse. anne spent months there and has returned frequently, this as we mark the one-year anniversary of the worse oil spill in the nation's history this week. there is a push to expand deep water drilling, including from politicians from both parties representing the gulf states. massachusetts democrat congressman ed markey is ranking member of the natural resources committee and was a leading voice in the bp investigation. congressman, thanks so much. let's look back and talk about what have we learned. what changes have we made in the safety of deep water drilling since a year ago?
>> there have been some changes. but the reality is that the blue ribbon commission that was put together in order to study what happened and make recommendations for new safety features has been completely ignored by the republican congress. senator graham and epa administrator billç riley put together a -- basically a blistering, scalding indictment of practices that existed before that accident. they basically then put together the to do list in order to make sure that drilling is safe and right now the republicans have blocked the implementation of any new legislation that would improve safety in the gulf of mexico. >> so basically we know what needs to be done. and it hasn't been done a year later. >> that is correct. this blue ribbon commission laid out the problems and other
studies have also confirmed that there are still fundamental flaws in blowout preventers in the gulf of mexico. we're still using spill response plans that are predating the mccondo well disaster. and we have a republican congress that just in last couple of weeks has begun moving legislation that says to the department of interior, you have 60 days to approve or disapprove of a license to drill for oil and if you don't do anything in 60 days, it is deemed to be approved and they can go out and begin drilling. so that's the mentality that exists. it is a prespill mentality. they are revising history rather than revising the safety rules that need to be put on the books in order to protect against a repetition. >> but, of course, it is hard to find an elected political leader in the gulf who doesn't want
more drilling. we know that senator landrieu was holding up completely unrelated nominations, confirmations in the senate because of the temporary ban on drilling. >> and i appreciate that. but at the same time, 11 lives were lost. we have yet to change those rules which will allow for greater compensation to go to victims. the fishermen down there in the gulf of mexico, they lost vast amounts of income and only a fund that bp was forced to put together has helped to compensate them. i understand why the oil men want to go right back to business as usual, but the truth is that they're lessening safety standards and should not replace learning the lessons of what happened to ensure that we are able to guarantee the safety going forward. and that is just something that
i think makes common sense for the people who live down there as well as everyone else who lives off the coastline of the united states since the republicans passed legislation just a week go that will allow for drilling of oil off of the california coast, off of the massachusetts coast, off of every pristine beach in the united states. so i don't think those people are happy about the republican approach to safety with regard to drilling for oil off of the coastlines. >> let me play a little bit of brian williams' interview with a shrimper, dean blanchard, last night. >> until i'm dead, i'll believe every morning when i wake up, i'll think of bp. the first day i realized that bp wasn't trying to pick up the oil, you know. it was just -- it was a pain in my heart. i always said if you took the last five nobel prize winners and said your only job is to mess up dean blanchard's life
and his business, they could have done a finer job than bp. it destroyed the whole way of life. >> that is the human toll. >> that is the human toll. honestly, bp was more concerned with their own liability than they were with the livelihoods of the fishermen and those in the tourist industry who were down in the gulf of mexico. we can't forget those people because it basically changes a way of life. so you put the oil men aside and i know they're drill, baby, drill, and we want them ultimately to be ableç to dril for oil, we need the oil, and in the gulf of mexico it is our richest supply, but at the same time, it has to be balanced with safety standards. so that the lives of people who are endangered can be protected. right now, we have four times the fatalities on rigs in the gulf of mexico as any other
country in the world that drills for oil. how can we have the worst safety standards as opposed to our competitors in the drilling of oil in the world? the united states should be number one in safety, and number one in drilling. but number one in drilling safely. and the oil industry in the united states is still fighting those safety standards, even though they comply with those stan dartd dards when they dril the shores of other countries. >> ed markey, thank you very much. we have breaking news now on "andrea mitchell reports," live pictures from houston where at least three children have now been injured inside an elementary school. school district official tell nbc news that students were in the cafeteria when a gun fell out of a student's pocket or as they say something of that nature happened and it was discharged. none of the injuries are life threatening. classes are in session. police are on the scene. we'll have more, of course, as we get it. we'll be right back. ammy's fish. i opened the first sammy's back in 1966. my employees are like family, and i want people that work for me
to feel that they're sharing in my success. we purchase as much as we can on the american express open gold card so we can accumulate as many points as possible. i pass on these points to my employees to go on trips with their families. when my employees are happy, my customers are happy. how can the gold card help serve your business? booming is taking care of your business by taking care of your employees. by giving me huge discounts on rooms hotels can't always fill. with unpublished rates. which means i get an even more rockin' hotel, for less. where you book matters. expedia.
so has donneald trump done s homework. watch this exchange with our own savannah guthrie on the "today" show. >> when you see what china is doing to us, where we're going to lose this year $200 billion to china and they're taking all of our jobs and they're doing it through manipulation of their currency. >> it is a sovereign nation. you can't tell china not to manipulate its currency. >> if you have the right messenger, they won't be doing it for long. >> you can just tell them enough. >> they don't have the cards, we have the cards. >> jonathan martin, senior politico writer joining us now. we have the cards, they don't have the cards. we should just send the donald to beijing and he'll take care of it. easy. >> that's all you need to know. look, this explains, i think in part why he's rising in the polls because at this point, andrea, voters they aren't
looking for sort of details about what exactly he's going to do about china's currency. here's somebody on their tv, every day, by the way, and we're guilty of it too, who is talking tough about taking on obama and taking on the chinese. it is pugilistic, combative. finally here is someone who is really telling it straight. i think that trumps, as it were, the actual message itself is the tone. >> and he's sitting down with more reporters with mike isikoff today, the media campaign continues. >> it does because it is great box office obviously for us. people are fascinating by it and, of course, for trump himself, this is what he craves. it is a win-win. >> i guess. thank you very much, jonathanç martin. is three kucups of tea factr fiction?
topping the headlines now on "andrea mitchell reports," there is a new tornado threat for several midwestern states today. there could be severe thunderstorms and possible tornadoes, hail and heavy winds in illinois and indiana. a texas wildfire is raging within 100 miles of the dallas/ft. worth area. 32 homes have been destroyed by the blaze in the last 24 hours and has spread to 120,000 acres. hot temperatures, strong winds are expected to complicate firefighting efforts there today. and another day, another problem for the faa. a cleveland air traffic controller was suspended for watching a movie on the job. not even a good movie. pilots heard the soundtrack to "cleaner," 2007 thriller starring samuel l. jackson piping in through the controller's open mike to cockpits throughout the area. new guidelines today, first
in 30 year for diagnosing alzheimer's disease. threeç phases are now tdefined dementia, and an early phase with no symptoms when changes are developing already in the brain. turning now to an unsettling controversy about an internationally recognized leader in the movement to educate girls in afghanistan and pakistan. greg mortensen, inspired a legion of followers with his compelling story in "three cups of tea". now that work is being questioned by allegations of misused donations to his charity and factual errors. he's been forced to admit some exaggerations in his best-selling book. he's been the hero of the movement to educate girls in afghanistan and pakistan. soldiers deploying to afghanistan are encouraged to read his book. president obama donated part of his nobel prize money to greg mortensen's charity. joint chiefs chairman mike mullen travelled with mortensen and retails his dramatic story of a failed attempt to climb the
world's second highest mountain and his pledge to his rescuers. >> during his recovery, he looked for a way to repay them and found what they needed most was a school. >> it is a story he told again two years ago to natalie morales on "today." >> i spent 78 days there, didn't make it to the top and i stumbled into a little village, i saw 78 children sitting in the dirt, doing their lessons with sticks in the sand. i made a promise to build a school. >> but as 60 minutes reported on sunday, he did not hear of that village until a second visit, a year after the climb. he was not kidnapped by the taliban. he did build schools, but critic say not nearly as many as he claimed. an author donated $75,000 to mortensen's charity until he got suspicious. now writing, mortensen has lied about the noble deeds he's done, the risks he's taken, the people he's met, the number of schools he's built. a watchdog group tells nbc news
that charity has paid for mortensen to fly charter çplan. >> they only had one audited financial statement which came out last fall. >> mortensen is now ducking television interviews. >> i need to sign these books right now so -- >> he wouldn't talk to nbc news, but told outside magazine there were some omissions and compressions. there are discrepancies that, again, have to do with compression of events. acknowledging he took literary license. >> standards for nonfiction are pretty clear. you don't compress to the point of creating a story that isn't true relative to what actuallyc happen in this case. >> nbc news learned there could be a problem with his second book, stones into schools, also a best-seller. in that book, he described this man as a former taliban fighter. but when nbc news interview him
two years ago, we could not verify his taliban connection and did not broadcast the story. other advocates for afghan girls worry the controversy will hurt the larger cause. >> the issue of girls education is so much more important than any one individual who writes about it or talks about it. >> now his publisher viking says that they plan to carefully review the materials with the author. joining us now, daniel borakof, president of the american institute of philanthropy which raised alarm bells about the financing of his mortensen's charity. thank you for joining us. you were in the interview we just haired. what were your initial concerns, what were the alarm bells going off? >> well, initial concern is that he -- that the group didn't have an audit, even though they're taking in tens of millions of dollars and it is required by law in a number of states. the other major concern was the mixing of his personal business interests being intertwined with the interests of the charity to such a degree where you have all
these expenditures including $1.7 million for book costs, yet the revenue was not coming back to the charity, it was coming back to him. there is no royalties reported speaking fees. yet he's getting on average $30,000 to speak and he's regularly speaking around the country. >> can he argue that he's advancing the cause, this is advertising and promotion for the cause of educating girls in pakistan and afghanistan so these are legitimate expenses to build the charity for the book tour? just trying to make that case? >> well, certainly he can -- he can say that. a lot of charities incur educational costs, it is very common. but the people that run the charity don't receive the revenue or the benefits from it. so it is really strange. he's treating the charity as if it is his own personal piggy bank. he really needs to separate the
two. can you imagine if anybody that wanted to promote a book or a record or a speech would go set up a charity and the charity pays all the costs and they keep all of the revenue? this is very wrong. it shouldn't be allowed. >> part of his response that he e-mailed around to people yesterday was that they investigated themselves, hired attorneys and started their own audit, and are producing results of that. was that in response to your questions? is that when they hired your attorneys and started with their own audits? >> well, we, early on, starting in '09, have been asking questions of why is all of this mixed? why when you go to the prep side it a big promotion for revenue generating activities that benefit mortensen directly. so we started to shine light on it and the fact that they didn't have an audit as required. >> do you think they may have some irs exposure here, the
charity? >> oh, certainly. i would encourage mortensen to give back all of the money for all of the expenses he paid where he was the one, not the charity, that benefited from the results of it. he's saying now that he, as of now, he will not have theç charity pay for his personal business expenses, but he needs to -- he needs to do more than that and go back and pay for all that charter jet travel and all of that money that the charities spent on him that could have gone to help girls in central asia. >> thank you very much for joining us from chicago today. >> sure. meanwhile in afghanistan, u.s. commanders are seeing signs of progress. fewer taliban insurgents, more afghan security, inspiring some hope that the u.s. will be able to start bringing troops home in july. we have the national editor with "the washington post" and author of "imperial life in the emerald
city" about iraq and has just returned from another trip to afghanistan, another reporting trip. your reporting is so textured. you had the lead story in the sunday "washington post." what are you seeing? what glimmers of hope might there be as the president makes these big decisions about the pace of withdrawal in july? >> after i came back from two weeks in southern afghanistan and spent that time in some of the roughest, most violent parts of that country, at least until recently parts of helmand and kandahar province where hundreds of service members were killed over the past couple of years. what really surprised me and some of the worst places now, u.s. troops can move from one base in some places people are feeling confident enough, they're standing up to the taliban, throwing stone at the taliban to intimidate them of
daily labor jobs. all of these sorts of developments are things that would have been unthinkable six months ago. >> well, what about the fact that you still have these suicide attacks and assassinations? it is really -- the taliban, the terrorists going after afghans, much as am >> indeed. much as am this is an evolving tactic on the part of the taliban. and commanders expect to see more of this this summer. taliban atabbing softer ta inbb and civilian targets across the country. i saw these little pockets of progress or optimism, but by no means did it seem like, you know, success was assured. these are still incredibly fragile, they're reversible, and there are real questions about how well they can be sustained. ultimately security in these
places has to be turned over to afghan security forces. the afghan government has to do better job of providing services to the people. and the people have to feel confident enough to go about their daily lives. and we're just seeing the most basic glimmers of that. and we're now facing a potential sort of drawdown of troops starting this summer. to transition in 2014. and it is hard to see how in some of these really tough areas you'll get over that hump in the time that is remaining. >> the president said on friday that it is going to be a substantial withdrawal. can you see that working? >> well, that's going to be the real conflict go on here. the president wants a lot of troops out. he certainly recognizes this is a very costly endeavor. but he's going to get push back from his generals. >> thank you so much. >> good to be on. >> real reporting from the field. we appreciate you coming in. >> thanks. up next, on the front lines in benghazi with our own nbc stephanie gosk. don't worry, lucky,
it hit helps the lhe of companipanies like the she smallestt ofof startups.ups. th ththat lets yos your employeloy, pa and custcustomersvate and sharee so you can can unleash tsh the of your mor your peopleople. are you anxious to protect your family with life insurance... but afraid you can't afford it? well, look how much insurance many people can get through selectquote for less than a dollar a day. selectquote found, rich, 37, a $500,000 policy for under $18 a month.
even though dave, 43, takes meds to control his blood pressure, selectquote got him a $500,000 policy for under $28 a month. ellen, 47, got a $250,000 policy for under $20 a month. all it takes is a phone call. your personal selectquote agent will answer all your questions ... and impartially shop the highly rated term life companies selectquote represents for your best rates. give your family the security it needs at a price you can afford. call this number or go to selectquote dot com. selectquote. we shop. you save.
i'm tamron hall. coming up on "newsnation," governor jan brewer street eer controversial birther bill. but there is a dozen other states with similar legislation pending and what one southern governor says about the birther bill pending in his state. he says he'll sign it if it comes to his desk. our "newsnation" gut check, is summer camp too dangerous for kids? it may be a rite of passage for some children, but some parents say games like, get this, freeze tag, are putting their kids at risk. it is the gut check. we're talking about it on "newsnation" at 2:00 p.m. eastern. >> and taking a look at hot spots now around the world, today pro democracy
demonstrators erupted at the syrian government lifted a state of emergency which had been in place for nearly 50 years. the move was an attempt to appease protesters there who were calling for president assad to step down. in yemen, security opens fire on protesters injuring several people. britain is now sending military advisers to libya for the first time, trying to help rebels organize their forces. the open sposition is pleading help in misrata. stephanie gosk is live in benghazi with more. stephanie, will the britishç trainers make a difference? is that what is needed as the rebels are so stalemated and, in fact, outgunned, outmatched in misrata? >> reporter: well, it will be interesting to see what difference they can make. this is an interesting move by the uk because, of course, the country here doesn't want boots
on the ground. they don't want foreign boots on the ground. you'll see that the british government is splitting hairs here, calling them advisers, military advisers. but they are coming in to talk strategy with the rebel army here on the ground in benghazi, trying to break this stalemate in eastern libya. but when it comes to misrata, what they really need are more weapons on the ground in the city. you have nato coming out every single day talking about the numbers of tanks they're hitting and armored vehicles. but they also say their hands are tied that gadhafi's forces are using brutal tactics, they're hiding in hospitals, they're shooting civilians with -- using snipers on rooftops, also deliberately targeting mosques and that they don't really have the ability with air strikes to go after them. >> well, you know, the whole question of foreign advisers, military advisers, just a little bit of history there, we remember the first "advisers" were u.s. advisers in vietnam in the early '60s.
we know what happened to that. it is hard to get a little bit in there without it becoming a military engagement on the ground. and is the notion that this is a military stalemate really the conventional wisdom there? is that what we're facing? >> reporter: it does seem like that. the last couple of days here in eastern libya, it has been very quiet on that front. we are seeing the rebel forces dig in on their positions on the western gate of ajdabiyah. it may be kind of calm before the storm. we spent some time with them with the fights aers out there they're not willing to just sit back. they want to take their fight further west and want help from the nato to do it. you have some coming out and saying theç military effort wot end until gadhafi steps down. that's really putting themselves out on the line. they're going to have to be here for a while. andrea? >> indeed. stephanie gosk, thank you so much. and in havana, fidel castro
made his first public appearance at a communist party event today since he fell ill in 2006. cuba's former president was on hand as his brother was named to succeed in the first secretary of the party's first congress in 14 years. on monday, cuba approved hundreds of economic reforms including one legalizing the buying and selling of private property. that's a first. so what political story will be making headlines in the next 24 hours? that's up next. ever seen anything like it? me neither. it's beneful incredibites. it's just the way you like it-- with carbohydrates for energy and protein for muscles. [ woman announcing ] beneful incredibites. another healthful, flavorful beneful. now in a convenient bag. how are you getting to a happier place? running there? dancing there? how about eating soup to get there? campbell's soups fill you with good nutrition, farm-grown ingredients, and can help you keep a healthy weight. campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do.
so just ten days from now the royal wedding. kate middleton's family today unveiled its first code of arms. the middletons had the design commissioned by london's college of arms. it featured three acorns. clarence house says that's to symbolize where kate and her two siblings grew up. the blue and red colors echo the principal colors of the british.
both will be featured on a souvenir royal wedding program. don't forget to download the nbc news royal wedding app on itunes. it's free. and which political story will be making headlines in the next 24 hours? not the wedding, that's ten days from now but msnbc contributor and managing editor of postpolitics.com chris cillizza joins us. i'm betting you are not going to the wedding but you are going to focus on the deficit tour. >> i will say i can't believe you left the biggest kate middleton story out. the jellybean that looks like kate middleton. this is big stuff. >> i'm focusing on coats of arms and dresses and other important stuff. >> i was going to say, president obama today he was in virginia. tomorrow he will fly out to the west coast, california, doing a facebook town hall. now, why is this important? this is obviously, as you say,
part of the broader selling of his deficit plan. but it's important, too, because facebook, younger voters, social media. in 2008 barack obama won young voters by 34 points. they made up 1 in every 5 voters. 2010 the midterm elections there were only 12% of electorate and democrats only won them by 13 points. barack obama has to get that margin back up among young voters. he's the first presidential candidate to effectively mobilize them and doing things like facebook town halls certainly shows it's a signal to younger voters, 18 to 29 years old, i get you, i get how you communicate, and we're going to reach you through those ways that you communicate and get you involved in this process. it's critically important to him. >> and it's also, palo alto is a great place for him to raise money as well while he's there. >> to your point, he's doing i believe six but at least four fund-raisers. california, a huge democratic donor state. so the president is going out there and doing to raise lots of money. that ultimately may be the most
important part, although the part we won't be invited to, of the trip. >> should raise some money for the deficit. okay. thank you for çthat. >> thank you. >> chris cillizza. see you tomorrow i hope. that does it for us for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." tomorrow we'll mark the one year anniversary of the disastrous louisiana oil spill. and remember to follow the show online and on twitter @mitchell reports. tam ran hall has a look at what's next on "news nation." >> great show. in our next show we're following developing weather news. a severe thunderstorms and tornado outbreak again in the midwest after a deadly spring of tornadoes killed more than 45 people this weekend. we'll get the forecast including another confirmed fatality from this weekend's storm, a 6-month-old baby. plus a 6-year-old brings a loaded gun to school. three other students we're told are injured. the school is on lockdown.
and yet another poll shows donald trump leading the republican pack. eugene robinson from "the washington post" will join us to talk about his new article on why trump should be taken seriously. [ male announcer ] in 2011, at&t is at work, building up our wireless network all across america. we're adding new cell sites... increasing network capacity... and making a substantial investment to improve your wireless network experience. from a single phone call to the most advanced data download, we're covering more people in more places than ever before in an effort to give you the best network possible. at&t. rethink possible. i'm out makin' sure this stays a 10, when you drive by. you're checking out my awesome headband, when... ♪ oops. that's when you find out your cut-rate insurance it ain't payin' for this.
so get allstate. save cash and be better protected from mayhem like me. [ dennis ] dollar for dollar nobody protects you from mayhem like allstate. is it the new forty, i don't know. i probably feel about thirty. how is it that we don't act our age? [ marcie ] you keep us young. [ kurt ] we were having too much fun we weren't thinking about a will at that time. we have responsibilities to the kids and ourselves. we're the vargos and we created our wills on legalzoom. finally. [ laughter ]
right now onç "news nation a baby, the latest victim of record-breaking storms and now states already ravaged by tornadoes that took more than 40 lives are in the path of yet another dangerous system. a controversial birther bill in arizona goes too far even for governor jan brewer. one southern governor says he would be willing to sign a birther bill. >> are you willing to lose the presidential race over this issue? >> no, because i tell you what, i hope he does. i would love him to come out with a birth certificate, proper birth certificate. >> and speaking of birthers, donald trump explains why he is making the issue a central part of his possible presidential bid, and